Hold on to your brains, gamers: The rumor du-jour on the internet is that Sam (Spider-man) Raimi's film based on World of Warcraft will be happening earlier than had been suspected.
While Raimi's name has been connected to the project for a long time, yesterday's complete implosion of the next Spiderman flick may mean that Warcraft is moving up in Raimi's queue to the "next" position. According to movie-rumor site Ain't It Cool News:
"I feel confident in saying that the next film we'll see from Raimi is going to be WARCRAFT... which after AVATAR, the concept of world building that particular universe could be astonishing - especially in 3D - especially after what Cameron just unleashed upon the globe. World creating Science Fiction & Fantasy... done by visionary filmmakers ... well, it is a premium. We got THE HOBBIT coming, looks like an AVATAR 2... but the word I hear is that today - the phone lines were burning between a certain legendary locale and Raimi's folks about firing up the furnaces to forge the weapons of war."
I've been down with Sam Raimi's since The Evil Dead, and he's probably among the only three people on Earth with a whisp of a chance of doing justice to a Warcraft movie (The other two: James Cameron and Peter Jackson). But I'm leery of the project for a simple reason: Movies based on video games suck. It's an immutable rule of films.
You could spend all day arguing why this is the case, or whether it can be different in the future, but the fact remains: Almost all previous evidence indicates that suckitude is certain in a film based on a game.
But can Raimi destroy the trend, and turn out a movie worthy of Warcraft? Maybe. He's among the greatest film-makers of all time, and the Warcraft universe provides some solid material for a 3D epic, but if I were a betting man, I'd still put my money on "This movie will suck," if only because the pop cultural landscape is littered with the charred husks of films based on beloved games. If you had put your money on "suck" with every video game based movie since Super Mario Brothers, you'd be a rich man... although you'd push on Mortal Kombat and Silent Hill.
Update: Just a quick calrification: According to Variety, Sam Raimi's project is currently titled "Warcraft," but the is based on World of Warcraft. As for when/where in the Warcraft-verse the movie takes place, it hasn't been announced, and, quite frankly, I imagine it hasn't been determined yet.